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Reported by Nancy - September 17, 2004 -

I've identified the problem with the daytime shows on 24-hr news channels: they've got Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Once they "identify" a story, they just beat it to death. They can't help themselves: it's easier ( & cheaper) than devoting resources to covering or discovering real news.

Fox News Live this morning (9/17) was a good example of OCD, combined with short attention span. They couldn't stay away from hurricanes (aftermath of Ivan, possible paths of Jeanne & Karl) & Michael Jackson (exhaustive coverage of what might or might not happen in court today, including 9 solid, uninterrupted minutes devoted to Jackson's actual arrival at the courthouse).

Buried amid all the flotsam & jetsam, there were a couple of interesting interviews.

At 11:30am (EDT), Quinn commented that the Bush administration has invited international monitors to observe the Nov elections, & interviewed James Hirsen (Newsmax) & David McDonald (observer, Fair Election International) about this. Hirsen took the right-wing stance, trying to drag in a different group (OSCE), mentioning comments by someone unrelated to FEI (Alcee Hastings) & saying that the observers have a "left-leaning agenda" [comment: which essentially boiled down to "We don't need no stinkin' observers"] while McDonald tried to point out that observing elections is a reciprocal activity which benefits both the observers & the observed [comment: McDonald, a Canadian, used words like "sharing", which shows how little he knows about US politics]. The interview could have been interesting, had there been more time, but FNL allotted less than 4 minutes, compared to the endless Ivan/Michael Jackson coverage on the same program.

At 11:40am (EDT), Patti Ann Browne introduced a segment on the UN Oil-for-Food investigation. This has been one of FNL's "hot topics" for months, & they trotted out the usual accoutrements -- vague claims about how Saddam Hussein used the oil-for-food money intended to imply that he directly funded terrorist operations, a banner saying UN BLOOD MONEY, & a report from Eric Shawn that included allegations about "Mego" or "Maygo" [comment: never printed on-screen, so I don't know how it's spelled], a claim that Fox had obtained access to a "secret UN database" & a clip of an interview with an unidentified white male who made a vague reference to money going to terrorists -- all of which contributed nothing in the way of new facts or new developments in the investigation. The segment ended with a plug for a David Asman special to air on Sunday afternoon.